Monday, September 29, 2008

Nielsen: more than 20 million U.S. telephone households (17 percent) are wireless

.. and, as the economy softens, look for that percentage to increase, making it harder than ever for radio researchers to find representative samples. That average bill is $40 per month per landline household.

In addition to the universe of U.S. wireless substitutors, Nielsen's study reports that:
  • U.S. cord cutters tend to have lower income-levels-59 percent have household incomes of $40,000 or less
  • Smaller households, with just one or two residents, are more likely to cut the cord than larger households
  • Moving or changing jobs are the biggest life events associated with cord cutting: 31 percent of cord cutters moved prior to cord cutting and 22 percent changed jobs
  • Wireless substitutors tend to use their mobile phones more than their landline peers, 45 percent more per phone, but still save an average $33 per month in a household of one subscriber, less $6.69 for each additional wireless resident, when they cut the cord

Alison LeBreton, vice president of client services for Nielsen Mobile, said "As wireless network quality improves and unlimited calling becomes increasingly pervasive, we expect the trend toward wireless substitution to continue… "

But wireless substitution doesn't work for everyone, says the report. Ten percent of landline phone customers have experimented with wireless-only in their household, but then returned to landline service. Nielsen reports that needing a landline for another service (security system, satellite TV, pay-per-view, fax machine, etc.) is the primary reason people mend the cord.

For the full paper, "Call My Cell: Wireless Substitution in the United States," please go here.

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